Tristan is officially on strike against going back in to full time work. Last night was fitness work: 10 minutes walk warmup, 8 minutes trot + canter warmup. Nothing more accomplished than FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HORSE MOVE YOUR FEET. Not even really that accomplished.
Then we progressed to our trot sets: two sets of round, deep trot for 6 minutes each, interspersed with hill walking. Trotting up and down the gentler of the hills we have. Then a long, slow canter up part of the hayfield hill - I timed it, and it's 45 seconds for the short segment of it that we usually do. If I can bribe someone to mow down further I can easily double that and it would be a really good canter stretch. For the first time in a while, he was still strong at the top of the hill, though puffing quite a bit.
I think it's about 50/50 "don't wanna" and "stiff and tired." For the former, nothing to do but keep on kicking, keep on pushing him through. Keep adding fitness so it comes easier.
For the latter, I'm going to bump his Pentosan up to every 3 weeks. That was always the option in hand; I think it's not at all uncommon for some horses to go through it faster than monthly. It's cheap, available, and it makes a difference for him. Easy call.
He's also not coping terribly well with the heat, which is interesting. It's not something I would have expected of him, considering he grew up in the desert. It could be a side effect of ageing; it could be the long winter. It seems to be mostly showing up in his breathing, which is recovering fine but getting labored sooner than I would have thought, and he's coughing more than usual in the warmup. It has been awfully humid for Vermont, so it could be that. Something to keep an eye on.
Tonight, he'll get the night off; tomorrow, a long hack out. Saturday might do a dressage school (fiance and puppy are out of town, whoooo!), Sunday a long hack and tack cleaning.
Most exciting: as of today, the barn is officially on FOAL WATCH! Mare's projected due date is July 17 but she is starting to look like she could go any day now. Mom is a big Warmblood-y thing, dad is UB-40. (Between you and me, we are hoping dad contributes a smaller size + general refinement, whew.)